Daughters of the Moon Tarot
by Ffiona Morgan
Sometimes, when I was younger, I would look into the night sky and turn towards the moon, with an expectation of finding solace or comfort. In times of trouble, especially as a girl growing into womanhood, I looked upward in this way. This was probably because, when I was very little, my mother used to take me outside before bed and say goodnight to the moon with me. It was a ritual between mother and daughter, and it placed within me a certain trust in the female ... female love, closeness, wisdom, strength, protection, and depth. Tales about the moon abound, across the globe and throughout time. By some, the moon is considered a great lady, or at least a symbol of the divine feminine. She watches our dreams like a grandmother, and accompanies us through our phases of darkness.
The moon has this meaning to me, when I visit it in stillness. Why the moon may have such an effect on us does not matter; that we may feel like such daughters of the moon, does.
The Daughters of the Moon Tarot
is a gift to all women, and in the many months since I received it, I have seen within it the strength and sense of security that the moon itself seems to signify to women. Morgan reminds us of our own female strengths on every page. She talks us through the process of empowerment. She shares with us her love of the feminine, and reclaims for us the feminine in its wholeness. To be clear, she makes no excuses for us, and demands honesty and responsibility. As a feminist work, Daughters of the Moon
focuses on womanhood, but it avoids an attitude of superiority and does not diminish the role of men.
Morgan has altered the traditional format of the tarot a bit, in the hopes of creating something that is less hierarchical. The Major Arcana is a suit equal to the others, and it is renamed the Aether Arcana, or Element of Spirit. There are twenty-one cards in this suit, and they generally follow the traditional cards, with some changes that are not difficult to learn or follow. The Priestess has taken the place of the High Priestess and the Hierophant; the Empress and the Emperor have become Mawu, an African earth mother goddess. There are two Lovers cards ... one is female only, and the other shows a man and a woman. Two cards have been added to this suit, although only one of these should be used at a time ... Pan, a positive male, and Coyotewoman, who represents the same playful energy. I find Morgan's changes enjoyable and interesting, and they tend to stick to traditional meanings.
The other three suits very closely follow the format of the traditional tarot, and we have the Arcana of Flames, or Fire, replacing Wands; Arcana of Cups, or Water; Arcana of Blades, or Air, replacing Swords; and the Arcana of Pentacles, or Earth. Each of these suits consists of ten cards, plus three archetypal cards of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. There is no difficulty in understanding these attributes, or getting used to having the three archetypal cards replacing the court cards. The only challenge here, for the experienced tarot reader, is in the interpretations. Morgan says, "I have also redistributed troubled energies throughout the arcana, as I felt the air suit was overloaded with unfortunate circumstances." If you draw the Two of Cups, you might be surprised to find it means that an assessment of anger is needed, and the card shows two goblets being sucked down into a whirlpool. The images do portray their meanings quite well though, so as long as the book is read in its entirety and understood to have these changes, reading with the cards should pose no problems.
As the cards are round, reversals are a little different than usual. A card is considered reversed when it is truly upside down, but its meaning can also be affected if it is "tilted." This serves to provide a further understanding of each card in a reading, and I have found that it is best to listen to intuition when interpreting the cards.
The artwork on the cards was designed by Morgan, and completed by a number of women, collectively. Even though many hands were a part of this project, the deck is cohesive. The artwork is colorful and vibrant, emphasizing the beauty of women in all her forms - shapes, sizes, colors, ages, and actions; and sharing the constant presence of Goddess, through her many names. Differences create a tapestry of color, light, and beauty. Some of the cards are simple and expected ... the Priestess shows a serene Isis; Strength shows a young huntress walking with a lioness; in the Sun, young women dance before a glowing yellow sun. Some of the cards are quite unique, and striking in their symbolism and design ... the card of Oppression, replacing the Devil, shows a scene from the Inquisition, in which many women were killed, accused of witchcraft and communing with Satan; in the One (or Ace) of Cups, a young woman stands beneath a waterfall, joyously experiencing the cleansing of the water; the Two of Blades shows two female martial artists, fighting with swords.
Morgan's words are wise and insightful, and each card is well explained. One spread is provided, and I'd like to see more about how we might use the deck. Many women who appreciate goddess myth, also enjoy ritual and using tarot creatively. In a future edition, perhaps Morgan will offer some unique ways to expand use with Daughters of the Moon
A good number of women have asked me to review this deck; some of them saying it is their favorite, of all the decks they have seen. I understand this sentiment, as the Daughters of the Moon
speaks uniquely to all women - in its power, beauty, and wisdom.
Card artwork designed by Ffiona Morgan; Daughters of the Moon
Read user reviews or purchase the deck online at Amazon:
Daughters of the Moon Tarot Deck at Amazon
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Daughters of the Moon Tarot Book at Amazon
Illumination Tarot has been publishing articles, reviews, tarot spreads, and personal reflections for tarot enthusiasts and followers of alternative spirituality online since 1999.
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